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'I Knocked Them Offline'

A 17 year old student from rural Sweden thinks he did it.


A 17 year old student claims it took only ten minutes to start the attack against the Swedish police website polisen.se. He's now thought better of what he did.

IT experts are however doubtful the actions of the student were responsible for the denial of service attack measured at 500,000 hits per second.

The student and his parents were interviewed yesterday evening in their home in rural Sweden.

'When I saw on television that the police website was offline I broke into a cold sweat. I really didn't want anyone to be hurt. And I want to make it clear I do not belong to any organisation.'

It took him about ten minutes to organise the attack. 'I was pissed off at the raids on The Pirate Bay. I wanted to do something.'

The student put up an anonymous web page on Thursday. 'Then I went into the press archive of the police and chose the biggest photograph. Anyone clicking on my web page would automatically start downloading this photograph.'

The student then went into a discussion forum and encouraged everyone to visit his new web page.

'And I asked them to pass the word on.'

A few hours later the website of the Swedish police was being hit with half a million requests per second. The servers went down.

People visiting the site could see the following message:

'The police have raided The Pirate Bay and the The Pirate Bureau. By rendering this page in your browser you show what you think of the police.'

Yesterday morning the student told his father about the web page.

'When we saw the news in the evening we began to see the connection. When our son came home we told him to watch the next news broadcast. Afterwards he said it was his web page which had caused this', says the student's mother.

The family have not yet decided if they will go to the police.

The national IT police started an investigation yesterday.

'The action was not a national threat. But if it had occurred during the tsunami catastrophe it could have led to a lot of trouble', said Lars Lindahl, IT director of the national police.

But according to IT experts it's unlikely the student's web page was enough to knock out the police website. Most likely other hackers had been working independently and created programs that kidnap Windows computers and coordinate them so they access the police site simultaneously.

Yesterday evening the police website was up again, albeit wobbly.

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